Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayeb has said that Article 2 of the Egyptian Constitution should not be changed or sectarian tension would result.
Article 2 says that “Islam is the Religion of the State. Arabic is its official language, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).” El-Tayeb said that the article is one of the pillars of Egypt and changing it would come in the way of achieving freedom and democracy.
El-Tayeb added that he supports the idea that future grand imams would win their seat through votes and not by being appointed by the state, as long as elections are transparent and free of corruption.
Regarding Al-Azhar’s dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood, El-Tayeb said that Al-Azhar is an educational institution, whereas the Brotherhood is a political entity, adding that they share the same faith but have different paths. He insisted, however, that there is a mutual respect between the two.
El-Tayeb added that many institutions under the Mubarak regime suffered from corruption and that those who decided to go to the street and protest against this corruption are heroes.